Academic and Functional Learning During Long Breaks

As a mom and a teacher, I enjoy academic activities and ideas to do over long breaks. Although many breaks are filled with an increased amount of time with extended family members, there are better days knowing my children and our learners are at home learning. I also remind families that these activities are optional and are only meant to ease stress! This post will go over some common activities I enjoy sending home to families and that I also do with my children. No matter where a learner is developing, many of these home activities can help with the maintenance of skills.


  • Get to a park
  • Go sledding 
  • Go to a local library 
  • Have a dance party. You can even turn off the lights and use glowsticks!
  • Holiday community events; outdoor and indoor!
  • Cooking and baking together
  • Sign up for a class such as a craft, swimming, or karate together



  • Have your child help with cooking
    • Using measurements and math in everyday life helps encourage the use of numbers. 
  • Talk about 2D and 3D shapes you see around the house 
    • Early childhood math skills start with shapes and understanding the difference between all the different shapes that we see within our world.
  • Organize toys
    • I like to use magnatiles, cars, doll clothing, blocks, balloons, shapes in a shape sorter, and stuffed animals. These are toys that are typically readily available to play with. I like to prompt sorting these objects by their colors and size and we encourage conversations about the similarities and differences!
    • Use painter’s tape and make large shapes. Go around the house and find and sort items by their different shapes.
    • Sort toys by feature, function, or class
    • Sort the mail

Communication and Literacy: 

  • Read books! Reading is important for all ages because it is a way to help them build language skills. Reading and even talking about the pictures in the books help support model language and learning skills.
    • Have your child read leveled reading. Even if a child has memorized a book, having them read encourages the love of reading and increases confidence in reading. 
  • Letter games like hide and seek or using a fly swatter. We like to hide post-its with uppercase and lowercase letters on them and when they’re all found, we lay them out and match them. 
  • Talk about letters vs numbers and the signs you see when driving. 
  • Make a craft based on the learner’s favorite book
  • Watch a movie and talk about the setting, character, problem, and solution
  • The autism helper communication-based work tasks

Fine motor: 

  • Cutting on different lines
  • Beads on a pipe cleaner
  • Stickers 
  • Puzzles
  • Cotton swab painting 
  • Hide letter or number beads in playdough


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